Semper anticus (Always forward)

My soul has never been this exhausted but it’s at its most hopeful state.

I recently came across an old colleague and he asked why wasn’t I writing something in my website anymore. The truth is that if you would see my phone’s Evernote app, you would see countless drafts that were never finished — some of them I don’t even remember starting. I have been attempting to finish one since September but I just couldn’t find the time, or the proper topic, or the right words, or simply, the guts to write again. With a 7-4 work in the way, I just couldn’t.

I remember starting 2018 in high spirits as I headed North for a Baguio trip. My soul was re-energized and unaware what was about to come for the next several months. On top of work and the ministry, I was burned out for eleven straight months.

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

Let me tell you a secret: I fell in love in the first quarter of the year.

Here’s the catch: I know he didn’t feel the same way. How did I know? He never said he did feel it too.

Did it hurt? Yep. Do I regret it now? No. Why?

Heartaches do a lot more than crushing your heart into pieces — it forces you to learn how to heal.

SO HOW DO YOU HEAL?

Just as when I thought March couldn’t get any worse, 2 of my best friends dragged my lazy and uncooperative a** to a secluded townhouse in Ilocos Sur. They introduced me to the beauty of a beach near a fishing village and its people, which later on made me realize what I wanted to do in my life. (I’ll get right back to it later.)

And though it helped, you might think that the trip was enough for me to be healed after the pain. It was not. Healing, I figured, is an everyday choice. There’s no standard way to heal but forgiveness is necessary, not for the sake of the person who broke you (whether it was done on purpose or not) but for yours.

It took me a few take-it-backs and several months in denial before I can finally look at the person’s eye and not feel hurt anymore. Indeed, there’s no standard time frame for this. It might take you days or even many, many years before you come to that point, but it doesn’t matter because healing is never a race. Do it at your own pace. What’s important is that everyday, you try. Not for that person, but for you.

SO HOW DID IT CHANGE YOU?

If my friends didn’t bring me to the sea, I wouldn’t have the dreams that I have with me now. Dreams that I never thought would have existed, until I figured how beautiful my Lupang Sinilangan is and how I wanted to be of her service.

Amor patriae, in short.

Meeting the people of Pilar, Ilocos Sur exposed me to the contrast of the sea’s beauty and the hardship our lack of disciple is causing the locals. It made me want to do something about it, but the only thing I know I’m somehow good at is writing. So maybe I could change the world by that?

Maybe I could study more about development writing?

I don’t know. It’s in the works. I don’t know if I’m gonna make the cut this year, but as early as now I wanted to say to the person, “Thanks to the heartache you brought that made me go to the sea, which made me dream this dream!”

You’ll never know how far you could go by running away to escape the heartache. Far. So far that it changes you. And sometimes you come back healed. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you just come back with a dream, healed or not healed.

SO WHAT NOW?

Almost a year after, my soul is exhausted.

Writing is tough, but writing for a living is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong. I love that I get to do what I love for an organization that helps the poor. But at the end of every workday, I come to a point when I just don’t want to write anymore. Nice food? Would like to write a review but too tired. Great place? Would recommend but I just can’t find the time. Someone gave a writing prompt? I’m already at a loss for words because of weariness.

Writing used to be my go-to therapy after a heartache, but it recently became an exhaustion for me.

But you know what? The countless drafts in my phone were reminders of hope — that no matter how exhausted I get, I will always keep on trying to write again — to dream and to heal.

And in case you’re reading this because it somehow ended up in my blog this month, that means all the attempts were worth it because I finally got to write again.

I think we’re all trying to heal from something we don’t usually talk about. So how about we let 2018 be a reminder of the countless times you tried to heal and write again, because 2019 will be a proof that as long as we continue to try, we’ll get back up again.

And spill more ink on my part, I guess?

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